Alfonso Jones

Rand Quote: The best way to study philosophy

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From Philosophy: Who Needs It (page 10):

"The best way to study philosophy is to approach it as one approaches a detective story: Follow every trail, clue and implication, in order to discover who is a murderer and who is a hero. The criterion of detection is two questions: Why? and How? If a given tenet seems to be true - why? If a given tenet seems to be false - why? and how is it being put over? You will not find all the answers immediately, but you will acquire an invaluable characteristic: the ability to think in terms of essentials."

Beautifully written. Sometimes I think Rand "raised me" intellectually. Advice such as that above - very helpful. Note the connotation of the analogy - philosophers are murderers or heroes - not just dispassionate people playing intellectual games or engaged in disinterested enquiry.

Alfonso

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Alfonso, I disagree with Rand's statement on two counts. I don't at all disagree with her suggestion that one ask oneself why one particular idea seems to be true and another false -- this is an important and valuable suggestion -- but with, first, the view that one will find, in the history of phiiosophy, only heroes and murderers. One will find, predominantly, people attempting to find the truth and failing in some respects and succeeding in others, to greater or lesser extents. And I also disagree with the view that if a philosopher presents an idea or a system that is false, he necessarily is attempting to "put it over" on us. What about the likelihood that he is stating what he authentically believes to be the truth?

I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

Barbara

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Alfonso, I disagree with Rand's statement on two counts. I don't at all disagree with her suggestion that one ask oneself why one particular idea seems to be true and another false -- this is an important and valuable suggestion -- but with, first, the view that one will find, in the history of phiiosophy, only heroes and murderers. One will find, predominantly, people attempting to find the truth and failing in some respects and succeeding in others, to greater or lesser extents. And I also disagree with the view that if a philosopher presents an idea or a system that is false, he necessarily is attempting to "put it over" on us. What about the likelihood that he is stating what he authentically believes to be the truth?

I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

Barbara

I don't agree that "to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil." Not at all. I do think it interesting to find that connotation in an otherwise compellingly interesting Rand quote, however. For clarity, I should have begun my last sentence in the original post with "However."

Alfonso

Edited by Alfonso

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Alfonso, I disagree with Rand's statement on two counts. I don't at all disagree with her suggestion that one ask oneself why one particular idea seems to be true and another false -- this is an important and valuable suggestion -- but with, first, the view that one will find, in the history of phiiosophy, only heroes and murderers. One will find, predominantly, people attempting to find the truth and failing in some respects and succeeding in others, to greater or lesser extents. And I also disagree with the view that if a philosopher presents an idea or a system that is false, he necessarily is attempting to "put it over" on us. What about the likelihood that he is stating what he authentically believes to be the truth?

I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

Barbara

You might say that about the ideas, but she invariably ad hominemed it. She did that in Q & A following lectures and speeches. Ask the wrong question and .... (I know what you mean and I know what kind of person you must be to ask that!) I also know why she was like that and more like that the older she got--to the tipping point when it didn't matter any more. 1/2 had to do with not getting the recognition she felt she deserved from those she felt she deserved it from, not really understanding that while AS was three generations compressed into one for artistic reasons, in the real world she would not be properly appreciated generally for several generations. That's happening now. The other half--I'm not going to say.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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BB: I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

I think to be mistaken is not the equivalent of being evil, but only when we honestly believe the our actions will not cause people to suffer or die.

Ciro

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BB: I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

I think to be mistaken is not the equivalent of being evil, but only when we honestly believe the our actions will not cause people to suffer or die.

Ciro

Ciro, I agree with this.

Barbara

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BB: I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

I think to be mistaken is not the equivalent of being evil, but only when we honestly believe the our actions will not cause people to suffer or die.

Ciro

Ciro, I agree with this.

Barbara

No disagreement here, either. My original post which started this was unfortunately more than a little unclear, to say the least. Not all errors in thinking or philosophy are moral failings (and yes, I have read, incredulously, Fact and Value several times trying to find the trail of reasoning - without success!)).

My apologies to all for writing too quickly earlier.

Alfonso

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BB: I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

I think to be mistaken is not the equivalent of being evil, but only when we honestly believe the our actions will not cause people to suffer or die.

Ciro

Do you mean to say that when our actions cause other people to suffer that is considered to be evil? We make other people suffer on a daily basis, mostly when others have a weak mind. What is making someone suffer in our daily lives? Do our constand arguements and dissatifactions with our partners and loved ones make us evil as well?

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My mistake people, I didn't mean to murder your families in the farms when Lenin and Stalin tried my ideas, it was a mistake in judgement. Please forgive me Mrs Branden. - Karl Marx

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BB: I don't accept the idea that to be mistaken is the equivalent of being evil. Do you?

I think to be mistaken is not the equivalent of being evil, but only when we honestly believe the our actions will not cause people to suffer or die.

Ciro

Do you mean to say that when our actions cause other people to suffer that is considered to be evil? We make other people suffer on a daily basis, mostly when others have a weak mind. What is making someone suffer in our daily lives? Do our constand arguements and dissatifactions with our partners and loved ones make us evil as well?

You never make someone suffer if they do it only in feelings, if feelings are suddenly the standard of value I feel like I need a $900 cash handout from the Australian Government and I will emotionally feel very bad if I don't get it, you bastard greedy tax payers!

See, when someones feelings are hurt, they are the ones who had those feelings. They are virtually hurting themselves. When you hurt someones feelings by actually stealing from them, the feelings are irrelevent, the stealing is what the focus should be on and how immoral that is. Whereas, if one felt bad for not getting a handout from the Government, I'd say they are evil for feeling bad over not receiving the unearned. In fact, just thinking about that makes me want to buy a handgun, put up a sign that says "free money" and gun down every fucker that approaches.

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In fact, just thinking about that makes me want to buy a handgun, put up a sign that says "free money" and gun down every fucker that approaches.

I'd say you have some seriously pathological feelings of your own. You should address them.

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In fact, just thinking about that makes me want to buy a handgun, put up a sign that says "free money" and gun down every fucker that approaches.

I'd say you have some seriously pathological feelings of your own. You should address them.

Not to mention the setup. Government handouts (albeit not always merited) are intended for those in need. Your act of putting up a sign advertising free money as a lure to gun people down is ludricous in comparison. They don't agree.

As for hurting someone's feelings, it can go both ways. One can assume that by being hurtful, you know beforehand that by saying certain things, you expect the person's feelings to be hurt. The end goal being mental anguish at some level. The other, you may very well be innocent in making a comment, but the receiver of that message was hurt, either directly or indirectly, by your choice of words.

One is clearly calculating (evil), the other unaware or oblvious - prior to making the statement(s).

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Tate:

Seems the panel wishes to find you guilty of hyperbole!

Or, are you insane?

Adam

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It is just in Australia plenty of people in no need at all are getting something for nothing at the expense of silent victims. I was a little mad when I wrote it, the logic of the comment about shooting freeloaders was shotty. It was meant more as an emotional expression that didn't require caps lock.

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My mistake people, I didn't mean to murder your families in the farms when Lenin and Stalin tried my ideas, it was a mistake in judgement. Please forgive me Mrs Branden. - Karl Marx

John, please reread what I wrote. I did not say that there are no heroes and no murderers among philosoophers. I wrote that I disagreed with the "the view that one will find, in the history of phiiosophy, only heroes and murderers. One will find, predominantly, people attempting to find the truth and failing in some respects and succeeding in others, to greater or lesser extents."

Barbara

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